The Intangible Cultural Heritage of Hong Kong

The Representative List

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department announced on 14 August 2017 the first Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Hong Kong, which comprises 20 items. The Representative List will provide the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR Government) with a basis for prioritising resources and safeguarding measures for intangible cultural heritage (ICH) items, especially those of high cultural value and with an urgent need for preservation. Below is a list of the 20 items: 

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Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe




*  The 10 local items which have already been inscribed onto a higher threshold - the national list of ICH - were automatically included in the Representative List.
^ Cantonese opera was inscribed onto the UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, making it a world ICH item.
§ Tin Hau Festival in Hong Kong and Hong Kong Cheongsam Making Technique were inscribed onto the National List of ICH in 2021.


Nanyin (southern tunes), spring and autumn ancestral worship of clans, the Tin Hau Festival in Hong Kong, Mid-Autumn Festival - the Pok Fu Lam fire dragon dance, the Taoist ritual tradition of the Zhengyi school, the sek pun (basin feast), Hong Kong-style milk tea making technique, the paper crafting technique, the technique of making Hong Kong cheongsam and kwan kwa wedding costume, and the bamboo theatre building technique were recommended by the ICH Advisory Committee after deliberation on the 480 items of the first ICH inventory of Hong Kong. The HKSAR Government then launched a three-month public consultation during February and May 2017 to gauge public views on these 10 recommended items. More than 200 public opinions were received with the majority of the public supporting the recommendations.


The ICH Advisory Committee deliberated on and endorsed the selection criteria of the Representative List as follows:

(1)  the item has been inscribed onto the ICH inventory of Hong Kong;
(2)  the item embodies local traditional culture and carries significant historical, literary, artistic, scientific, technological or arts and crafts values;
(3)  the item is transmitted from generation to generation and has a dynamic and living nature;
(4)  the item possesses the distinct traits of an ethnic group or a region, or manifests the characteristics of the local living culture as a typical example of that culture; and
(5)  the item exerts significant influence on the community, reinforces community ties and provides communities or groups with a sense of identity and continuity.